Don’t trust words. Question actions. But never doubt patterns - Unknown
Human beings are creatures of patterns. We move in certain way, certain fashion, in certain direction. We tend to follow the same paths. We have our eating patterns. We interact and respond in a certain way. We do certain thing at a certain time. We are creatures of patterns. We should be using that fact to our advantage when we build our habits.
When I was working for a tax consulting company I was going to the gym 4 times a week after work. I know it’s hard to believe since no one seen my upper body muscles for quite some time. I was going to the gym 4 out of 5 times on my way back home. That was my pattern of moving. From home, to work, to gym, to home. There was no space to say I don’t feel like going today. I don’t have time or I need to rest. No. Once I took my gym bag there was no other option for me than go for a workout. Right after I came back home from the gym I was making sure to prepare my gym bag for next day. I was placing the bag in front of the doors to make it visible. It was all automatic. There was no pain or doubt in deciding if I want to work out. I was always in the mood to work out.
After changing my job, the pattern of my movement changed. My paths changed. My schedule changed. In the result the habits that were connected with this job, those trigger that I have squeezed into my path, my movement, my schedule, have fallen apart.
Some things stay the same
At that time, I was not aware of those triggers or actually any triggers at all. I was only focusing on the desired action of working out. Because of this lack of awareness and not focusing my attention in the right direction, it took me few months to get back to working out during the work week. This may come to you as a surprise but I was still working out on the weekends as I did before. By now you probably figured out that it is because my weekend patterns have not changed. Same movement, same path, same habits, same triggers. That is quite a good example how you can use patterns in your advantage when you actually want to set new triggers.
Deep seated belief
Now let me show you a different example from my life as well. This is an example of bad habit and limiting belief. Unfortunately, it this example the triggers were also working great. When I was coming back home from work in the bank I was always extremely stressed and anxious. I felt I needed and deserved a rest, that’s fair right? I was convinced that watching a movie, after my wife will put my son to bed will de-stress me and relief me from my problems. Almost every day I was watching a movie or TV series in the evening. I had deep seated certainty that this helps me to chill out. Forgetting about your problems doesn’t make them vanish.
Dark side of triggers
I had a trigger that was launching my habit when my son was falling asleep. That was my pattern, my frame. Until my trigger was pulled I was not allowing myself to rest, de-stress and feel the joy of being with my family. Unfortunately, I was not aware of that. That was the dark side of my de-stress habit. You can guess how this have affected my family and myself. Actually until my son went to bed I was still mentally at this work I have hated so much. That sounds really serious and believe me it was. Your habits and your triggers are highly responsible for how you behave and who you actually are.
Your default settings
Take some time to figure out what are your paths. When you enter them and when you leave them. Start paying attention to all the same thing you do at the same time every day. Once you do that you can aim at triggers it themselves. Setting up more trigger moments will change your life completely. Triggers look like this: When you see something you do this, when this action is taken, then that happens. Interrupt your patterns and stick to your habits, stick to your Journey. Once you become mindful and purposeful with your behaviors, you will witness a massive change in your life. What is the first habit and trigger you are going to change?
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